St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

Bulletin 206 - December 2/December 15, 2002

Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320

December 2/December 15, 2002
Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
No. 206

Matthew 23:23
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay the tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Services This Past Week

December 8 - Twenty four people came for Divine Liturgy. One communicant.
December 9 - Three people came for the Akathist to St.Sava and Prayer Service to St.Sava.
December 12 - Four people came for Matins and First Hour. Three people came for Ninth Hour and Vespers.
December 13 - Four people came for Matins and First Hour.

Services This Week - Call to Verify Weekday Schedule

Today - Divine Liturgy
Monday evening - 7:00 PM. Akathist to St. Sava - Prayer Service to St. Sava.
Thursday - 9:00 AM Divine Liturgy. St. Nicholas
Friday - 8:30 AM Matins and First Hour. 4:30 PM-Ninth Hour and Vespers.
Saturday - 7:00 PM -Vespers

Remember Monastery Marcha with Prayers and Contributions

Important Dates

December 15 - Today-Annual Meeting following Divine Liturgy
December 21 - Pittsburgh Deanery Meeting on Christian Education - To be held in Youngwood.
December 22 - Children's Day - Special collection will be taken.
December 27 - Parish Retreat
December 29 - Sunday of the Holy Forefathers
December 31 - St. Sebastian, Martyr. St. Modestus and Others.
January 5 - Sunday before Nativity
January 6 - Eve of the Nativity
January 7 -Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

If you are too busy to are too busy!

Parish Life

1. Please stay for the Annual Meeting today.
2. Please sign up by next Sunday if you are coming to the retreat on December 27.
3. Three people came to Adult Class this past Thursday.
4. Individuals interested in cleaning the church on a regular basis should see Dr. Ivko Dimitric or Fr. Rodney.
5. The Nativity Fast continues until the Feast of the Nativity on January 7. Please honor it.

A Thought from Very Rev. Stavrofor Dr. Mateja Matejic*

The task of the Church has always been to assist her member in achieving the ultimate goal and meaning of their existence: CHRISTLIKENESS. The role and mission of the Church is to proclaim and maintain the road to salvation. In other words, the duty of the Church is to preserve the spiritual standards by maintaining unchangeable Christian principles. One would, therefore, expect the people to adapt their life to those principles, rather than to try to make these principles fit their narrow frame of vision. In the Church, the movement has to be from the human toward the divine.
.*(Orthodoxy: Courage to Be Different - Strength to Remain the Same.)

To Consider

1. The importance of love and forgiveness in human relationships.
2. The importance of self-control and presence of mind.
3. The benefits of fasting.
4. The necessity of prayer.
5. Control of the appetite.
6. Unity with Jesus Christ.
7. Charitable works throughout the year.
8. Praying daily throughout the year.
9. Coming to Church services during the week.
10. Honoring the fasts of the Church.
11. The Nativity of Jesus Christ is the basis for the present fast period.
12. Orthodoxy is a way of life, for the duration of life for serious believers.

Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology - Libertyville

Activities of the Parish Priest

1. Went to Diocesan Headquarters in Mars on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
2. Attended a clergy meeting in Aliquippa on Friday.
3. Went to a Christian education meeting in Cleveland on Saturday.
4. Visited a resident of SCI-Greene on Thursday.

From the Desert fathers

The same abba said, 'A man who is angry, even if he were to raise the dead, is not acceptable to God.'

Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 10:25-37
The Good Samaritan

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" So he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, "Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you. So which of these three do you think was the neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Eternal life is the goal of the Orthodox Christian. This goal is embraced at Baptism and remains in place throughout life. We are united with Jesus Christ at Baptism. We are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit at Chrismation.

At Holy Confession and Communion, we return to Jesus Christ and are reunited with Christ. Jesus Christ enters our hearts, our members, our veins when we partake of His Precious Body and Blood.

We live in Christ not in isolation but with other members of the Church community. We live in Christ in a world created by God. Each person in the world is created in the image and likeness of God.

Christian teachings challenge us to look beyond the barriers arisen among humans. Christian teachings challenge us to be civil and loving with each other, to be kind and forgiving.

The present Gospel message given to the Orthodox Christian community each year is a strong reminder to be of help to people we meet in life. By helping others we build up the community. We actualize the Christianity we profess at Baptism.

St. James said many centuries ago: "that a man is justified by works and not by faith only." Abraham was called the friend of God because he followed through with his faith to the point he was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. (James 2:21-24)

We never know when an act of kindness will bear great fruit. Acts of kindness are cumulative. The help to build up the community. They are examples for others. They reveal the love of Christ.

Christians are distinguished by the love of Christ evident in their lives. If Christ is in our hearts, Christ will be manifest in our works. Our Lord said many

years ago: "You will know them by their fruits...every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit." (Mt.7:16-17)

Effort is necessary on the part of Christians. Even in stillness, in the contemplation of Christ, exercising control of the body and mind and heart are necessary.

Growth in Jesus Christ requires a conscious effort. Growth in Jesus Christ requires the exercise of conscious choice "for Christ" and "against" all that leads one away from Christ.

Attractions and distractions will enter into the view and path of the Christian. Being faithful to the end, being faithful throughout life, is a daily challenge, a "moment by moment" challenge.

Being faithful to Jesus Christ is not simply a moment of emotionalism. Being faithful to Jesus Christ is a lifelong process of working at being faithful to Christ, of fighting with the temptations, the distractions, and the perils that enter into life. Being faithful to Christ is taking time to pray as often as possible, wherever we are, that we may be united with Christ.

Being faithful to Christ involves adhering to His teachings. Being faithful to Christ means learning about Christ, coming to know Christ through prayer, through fasting, through reading the Holy Scriptures, through partaking of His Precious Body and Blood.

Faithfulness to Christ involves seeing Christ at work in our daily lives. Faithfulness to Christ involves seeing the presence of Christ in others, in the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned, the hungry and the needy. (Mt.25:45)

The Gospel account of the Good Samaritan reveals the far-reaching dimensions of Christianity. The Gospel account of the Good Samaritan takes the teachings of Christ in the Church and extends it to the communities in which we live.

The Gospel account of the Good Samaritan puts Christianity into action with the strangers we meet in life. When we adhere to the teachings of Christ, we find the common bond we have with others in the world, we find the unity we have with each other, and that unity is Christ.

Let us find ways to share the love of Christ in our daily lives with each person we meet.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. December 2/December 15, 2002.
St. Urosh, Czar of Serbia and Venerable Joannicius of Devic.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

Back to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels - Home Page